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Posts Tagged ‘Iraq’

By Anthony Fenton

VANCOUVER, Canada, Feb 19, 2010 (IPS) – Critics are concerned that private military contractors are positioning themselves at the centre of an emerging “shock doctrine” for earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

Next month, a prominent umbrella organisation for private military and logistic corporations, the International Peace Operations Association (IPOA), is co-organising a “Haiti summit” which aims to bring together “leading officials” for “private consultations with attending contractors and investors” in Miami, Florida.

HAITI: Private Contractors ‘Like Vultures Coming to Grab the Loot’ – IPS ipsnews.net

Posted using ShareThis

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Our country really takes care of its soldiers (tongue-in-cheek). There have been other and similar stories like this – this one just caught my eye this evening and I’m tired of seeing them. So many “mysterious” deaths. Drug mix-ups, overdoses/overmedication, lack of proper care and attention, transmission of infectious diseases, such as AIDS, due to improper sterilization techniques… The place is a dive and a disgrace. Why anyone would want to serve in the U.S. military these days baffles me…

From San Antonio Express-News Online Edition

Web Posted: 06/10/2009 7:35 CDT

Injured soldier found dead on post

By Scott Huddleston – Express-News

BAMC200Another soldier recovering from war injuries died this week in his barracks at Fort Sam Houston, the Army said today.

Spc. Franklin D. Barnett Jr., 29, was found dead in his room Sunday afternoon, according to a release from Brooke Army Medical Center. Barnett, who was hurt in Afghanistan, had been assigned to C Company of the Warrior Transition Battalion since Oct. 15.

Barnett’s death, at least the third in less than three months involving members of the battalion, is under investigation.

Barnett, a native of Covington, Kent., served as a combat engineer and was assigned to the Louisiana National Guard’s 927th Engineering Company, officials said. He received a Purple Heart on Oct. 10.

A casualty affairs officer at Fort Polk, La. said Barnett’s parents live in Deville, La. Barnett also had a wife, he said.

Earlier this year, Spc. Craig Reginald Hamilton and Warrant Officer 1 Judson Erick Mount, also members of the warrior transition battalion, died on post. Army officials have not released details in either death, citing ongoing investigations.

Hamilton, 35, of Milford, N.H., had been injured at Fort Sill, Okla. He died at Fort Sam on March 27.

Mount, a 37-year-old former San Antonian, was badly wounded in a car bomb blast near a market in Iraq. He died April 7.

At least one of the 11 reported deaths that have occurred in Fort Sam’s warrior transition unit, created in late 2007, was linked to overmedication. The Jan. 22, 2008 death of Sgt. Robert Nichols, 31, of San Antonio, was ruled a result of an accidental “mixed-drug intoxication.”

Toxicology tests revealed at least 11 different drugs in Nichols’ system that he’d been prescribed for post-traumatic stress and brain injury. In response to the case, medical officials raised concerns about mixing painkillers, sleep-inducing drugs and antidepressants while treating war wounds.

The Army has initiated new measures to better control the distribution of drugs to injured troops.

11/6/09 Recent related story: After Fort Hood: Count All the Dead

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I was watching the DVD this afternoon and thought I’d share… I know you can find it on the Internet (I pulled this one from Googlevideo), but another copy will not hurt.

It always makes me wonder why G. W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney are not in court and/or prison. For years I was proud of being an American. In less than four years, these men made me ashamed. They have disgraced and disfigured our country and we will feel the reprecussions for many, many years to come.

Isn’t it true that a captain is responsible for the actions that happen when he is in control of the ship? If so, then these “gentlemen” are responsible for the unfettered “theft” of American money, the deaths and murders of hundreds of Americans and Iraqi people, the torture and maiming of individuals for unspecified and highly questionable “crimes,” disregard for the needs of the American and Iraqi countries, mistreatment and disrespect for American soldiers, and numerous other crimes. What a black mark on the history of America.

But, as you know, the Bush’s and his like do not care what we really think; they made BILLIONS from the war. They just insulate themselves and plead ignorance…

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From George Washington’s Blog

Is the U.S. the World’s Largest State Sponsor of Terrorism?

Preface: As someone who was born in America and has lived here my whole life, and who loves the ideals and Constitution our country was founded on, it has been a rude and painful awakening to learn about my government’s terrorist acts.

I believe that, if the American public knew what crimes the government was carrying out, they would not stand for it.

Four headlines this week make it clear that America may be the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism:

This is on top of previous stories showing that Cheney is directly funding terrorist groups out of his office, and that the U.S. is funding terrorists all over the world to promote its agenda. See also this, this and this.

And Americans dressed as Arabs have apparently been setting off car bombs in Iraq (when it was discovered that some of the cars used in Iraqi bombings recently came from the U.S., the cover story seemed to become that American cars were involved in car bombings only because they had recently been stolen from the U.S. and then shipped to Iraq — but does it make sense that Iraqi insurgents would steal cars in the U.S. and ship them all the way to Iraq?)

Unfortunately, this involvement in terrorism is not unique to the Bush administration:

No wonder the former director of the National Security Agency said “By any measure the US has long used terrorism. In ‘78-79 the Senate was trying to pass a law against international terrorism – in every version they produced, the lawyers said the US would be in violation”(the audio is here).

So next time the warmongers accuse a foreign country of sponsoring terrorism, remind them that – even if that is true – the U.S. is the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.

In addition to being the leading sponsor of terrorism, the U.S. is also the largest purveyor of disinformation and propaganda in the world. Gangsters like Al Capone would be astonished at how successfully the American public has been fooled as to the nature of their government’s actions.

As one of the leading American media critics says:

“Little has been done to address the astonishing ignorance of Americans regarding the US role in the world, [including] the extensive use of terrorism by the United States . . . .”


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Speeches And Statements


Statement on H Res 1194, “Reaffirming the support of the House of Representatives for the legitimate, democratically-elected Government of Lebanon under Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.”

May 20, 2008

March to War in Lebanon?

Madam Speaker I rise in opposition to H. Res. 1194 because it is dangerously interventionist and will likely lead to more rather than less violence in the Middle East.

I have noticed that this legislation reads eerily similar to a key clause in the 2002 Iraq war bill, H J Res 114, which authorized the use of force.

The key resolved clause in H. Res. 1194 before us today reads:

Resolved, That the House of Representatives

(6) urges–

(A) the United States Government and the international community to immediately take all appropriate actions to support and strengthen the legitimate Government of Lebanon under Prime Minister Fouad Siniora;

The Iraq war authorization language from 2002 is strikingly similar, as you can see here:

(a) AUTHORIZATION- The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to–

(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq ;

I am concerned that this kind of similarity is intentional and will inevitably result in US military action in Lebanon , or against Syria or Iran .

I am also concerned over the process of bringing this resolution to the Floor for a vote. I find it outrageous that H. Res. 1194, which calls for more risky US interventionism in the Middle East , is judged sufficiently “non-controversial” to be placed on the suspension calendar for consideration on the House Floor outside of normal order. Have we reached the point where it is no longer controversial to urge the president to use “all appropriate actions” — with the unmistakable implication that force may be used — to intervene in the domestic affairs of a foreign country?

Mr. Speaker, the Arab League has been mediating the conflict between rival political factions in Lebanon and has had some success in halting the recent violence. Currently, negotiations are taking place in Qatar between the Lebanese factions and some slow but encouraging progress is being made. Regional actors – who do have an interest in the conflict – have stepped up in attempt to diffuse the crisis and reach a peaceful solution, and press reports today suggest that a deal between the rival factions may have been reached. Yet at this delicate stage of negotiations the US House is preparing to pass a very confrontational resolution pledging strong support for one side and condemning competing factions. US threats in this resolution to use “all appropriate actions” to support one faction are in fact a strong disincentive for factions to continue peaceful negotiations and could undermine the successes thus far under Arab League moderation.

This legislation strongly condemns Iranian and Syrian support to one faction in Lebanon while pledging to involve the United States on the other side. Wouldn’t it be better to be involved on neither side and instead encourage the negotiations that have already begun to resolve the conflict?

Afghanistan continues to sink toward chaos with no end in sight. The war in Iraq, launched on lies and deceptions, has cost nearly a trillion dollars and more than 4,000 lives with no end in sight. Saber rattling toward Iran and Syria increases daily, including this very legislation. Yet we are committing ourselves to intervene in a domestic political dispute that has nothing to do with the United States.

This resolution leads us closer to a wider war in the Middle East . It involves the United States unnecessarily in an internal conflict between competing Lebanese political factions and will increase rather than decrease the chance for an increase in violence. The Lebanese should work out political disputes on their own or with the assistance of regional organizations like the Arab League. I urge my colleagues to reject this march to war and to reject H. Res. 1194.

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rock_2006.jpg

Last weekend, March 13-16, hundreds of U.S. veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan met in Silver Springs, Maryland to testify about and against the wars being fought. The four day event was organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War and the event was patterned after the 1971 Winter Soldier hearings organized by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War.

Sadly, mainstream media (MSM) did little to publicize the event to the public – the usual and expected fare these days. To the soldiers this was not surprising news, as when the 1971 Winter Solider hearings were held MSM was no where to be found than either.

The veterans spoke openly about the lawless nature of the “wars” (really occupations).

Former U.S. Army Sergeant Logan Laituri stated that the problem in Iraq was that “policymakers in leadership have set a precedent of lawlessness where we don’t abide by the rule of law, we don’t respect international treaties. So when that atmosphere exists it lends itself to criminal activity.”

More speak openly at face-to-face meetings and on the Internet in forums like Veterans for Peace Chapter 78 blogspot.

At the Chapter 78 blogspot one veteran states, “While on tank patrol through the narrow streets of Abu Ghraib, just west of Baghdad, Pfc. Clifton Hicks was given an order. Abu Ghraib had become a “free-fire zone,” Hicks was told, and no “friendlies” or civilians remained in the area. “Game on. All weapons free,” his captain said. Upon that command, Hicks’s unit opened a furious fusillade, firing wildly into cars, at people scurrying for cover, at anything that moved. Sent in to survey the damage, Hicks found the area littered with human and animal corpses, including women and children, but he saw no military gear or weapons of any kind near the bodies. In the aftermath of the massacre, Hicks was told that his unit had killed 700-800 “enemy combatants.” But he knew the dead were not terrorists or insurgents; they were innocent Iraqis. “I will agree to swear to that till the day I die,” he said. “I didn’t see one enemy on that operation.”

The feelings are the same whether spoken directly at the hearing or on the Internet. Multiple tours have wrecked havoc on their sanity making many feel that they are looked at more as just a statistical number than a human being.

Regardless, these veterans came together in a show of solidarity in Maryland and, upon conclusion of the hearings, the vets will continue to carry their message(s) to the people back in their towns, cities and states with the goal of garnering peaceful resistance within the United States against the government and its current militaristic practices.

Peaceful resistance by the American people is needed to bring the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan and to keep the U.S. government from further invading and occupying other countries such as Iran.

So although there may not have been much information available through MSM, which aggravated and frustrated Sharon Frigiola to no end (I understand and feel her pain),  there is some information available through Democracy Now and DC Indymedia. Maybe not a lot of information but it is to be expected these days…

And as good as a summary as any comes from a posting (emphasis mine) at Democracy.com:

Americans have heard from the generals, they’ve heard from the politicians, they’ve heard from the media – but they haven’t heard the truth. Americans must understand the reality of the wars our government is spearheading in order for our democracy to truly function.

Like 9/11, demand the truth. No more lies!

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From the blog LiberalPro

usempire2006.gifI cannot watch the news on television anymore. I am tired of the lies told baldly to my face and the “spin” put on everything that is not in the Empires best interests. That is what we are; an Empire that rules the world in order for the benefit of The United States. Listen further my fellow Americans, when I say for the benefit of the United States, I am not talking about the people of the United States, rather I am talking about those that own and manage the United States. These people are the people in our government, our corporate leaders, and our mega-wealthy ruling class. The people of the United States are no more or less important to these people than anyone else in this world save for the fact that we pull the lever to put them in power.

Today that right is not even guaranteed. If this government can’t convince us with their fear and propaganda along with their wars and economic power over their own citizen’s to vote the cabal’s way, why… they’ll just change the vote! When there is no paper trail to visually verify the vote what are we left with, the word of the government official that tallied up the score? We saw this in our last two Presidential elections, will we see it again? Of course we will, for nothing has changed. We can’t even predict primaries on poll data; do you think something’s wrong here?

The people that promise to change the status quo are run out of the election by collusion between the corporate-run media and the corporate financed candidates. No one wishing to change the way this country runs can get equal footing with these “sponsored” candidates. What change will any of them bring? They will do as they are told and we will continue to have an Empire, again, not of the people for the people, but for the ones that control this nation’s destiny, and believe me brother, it’s not you or me. To these people that run this Empire we are a nuisance that they must deal with from time to time. We are allowed to believe that we are free by voting for one of them. Once in a blue moon we will actually get to vote for someone that is not part of the Empire, but that is a rare occurrence. We are the serfs of this Empire, back to being plundered by the “Robber Barons” and most people in this nation aren’t even aware of it.

This Global War on Terrorism is a lie. There are no Al Qaeda cells in every city in America and in over 60 countries in the world. This is the same “Red Scare” tactic our government has used so well since the end of the last World War. It is propaganda, pure bullshit. Deep in your hearts you know it’s true. To say or think differently would be seen as anti-patriotic. Well chew on this for awhile, why has this country been instrumental in bringing down close to 50 governments of other nations? Why did we finance the overthrow of Hugo Chavez in 2002 only to see his people rise up and re-install him? Why is Hugo Chavez, a man that works for the poorest of his country, so savagely attacked by the Empire? The reason is because like Fidel Castro, he won’t play the Washington game. He won’t sell his nation’s resources to the Empire for pennies on the dollar. Is he a threat to you? Is he a threat to any average American? The answer is obvious, but he is a threat to the multi-national oil cartel. The people controlling this Empire’s government will tell you any number of lies to watch out for their interests.

Why are we fighting in Iraq? Were we ever afraid of Saddam? Give me a break. We are fighting over there to pay for Lockheed-Martin and all the other defense contractors’ budgets. We are in Iraq to give the Empire military bases to control the Persian Gulf and to assert our presence to insure our interests. We care not for the people of Iraq, nor do we care for the soldiers that die on command. This is just another example of Empire at its most malicious. Killing, according to some estimates, over a million Iraqi’s and almost 4,000 American soldiers that die on the ground, many soldiers who died in the air on a medi-vac didn’t make the count. We have destroyed their infrastructure and now pay Halliburton, Cheney’s company to put the country back together with no-bid contracts.

We threaten Iran with attack for having the audacity to build a nuclear power reactor. The Empire which once overthrew their infant democracy and re-installed the Shah, now tells the people of Iran what they can and cannot do. Meanwhile the Empire is selling nuclear secrets to India and Turkey and is the world’s foremost owner of nuclear weaponry. How insane is this logic? Still, this is the dictatorial nature of the Empire that we let thrive and grow while they scared us with horror stories of “Evil Empires” out to crush us and our “freedoms”. Now we are locked into an Empire that we can’t reign in because they have shredded our Constitution and we have surrendered our rights as citizens.

In 2006 the American people sent the government a clear and concise message to this government. We elected the opposition party into power in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. We did this on the basis that they would rend the excesses of this administration and stop the war in Iraq. Yet to this day, there have been no meetings of oversight committees that have produced anything of note. Bolton and Miers thumb their noses at the contempt of Congress citation and the Speaker of the House puts out a civil suit. If this Congress had a backbone they would send the Federal Marshall’s to the White House and put them in jail for contempt! This won’t happen, and you want to know why? It’s because the majority of Democrats are a working part of the Empire. The people’s party has been hijacked from the common American by politicians with a median income of $675,000.00 a year in the House and $1.7 Million in the Senate. http://www.opensecrets.org/pressreleases/2008/CongressFinances.3.13.asp

This, my friends, is what you call an example of “Class War”. In this country we have the rich, the middle-class and the poor. The top 10% of the families in this nation control 71% of its wealth. This means that 90% of the people of this nation share 29% of its wealth. The median income of the Middle-Class is shrinking by $2,000.00 an year as we sell off our industries to countries that provide cheap labor. The individuals that own these industries care not if they stay in America to give its citizens work. We are expendable; the only thing that concerns these huge corporate interests is the bottom line. The Empire exists to serve its masters whether they are Americans or not. This is excessive, ruthless, unchecked capitalism of the worst sort. Unregulated economic barbarism for the influential and wealthy, the divide between the two major political parties has been bridged by wealth. The Unions have been bought off, the politicians work for their corporate masters and the corporate masters work for the American Empire because they are the Empire. We spend more money on the military than all the nations on Earth combined. We have military bases in 130 different countries.

How did this happen? The truth is that it has been going on for over 60 years. Almost everything our government in Washington tells us is a lie. They are so confident of maintaining power from either party that they hardly disguise the lies that they tell anymore. There is no great political genius waiting in the wings to give our government back to its people. There is no great movement that will restore our Constitution. Those on the left fight amongst themselves and those on the extreme right prepare for survival in a world gone mad. Meanwhile both factions have never been so close on their view of this government. This is underscored by the 9/11 truth movement that has both factions working together to find out what really happened on September 11th and who was involved.

On Wednesday, March 19th, there will be a mass civil disobedience demonstration on the steps of the Capitol. If you can be there, then be there. If you cannot attend, go to a rally near where you live. The future of this nation is at stake. This means our future is at stake. This monster that has been created must come to an end and this nation must return to its borders and re-join the community of nations. The simple fact is that all Empires fall. Do you want to be here when this one does?

That’s the way I see it.

posted by Timothy V. Gatto @ 8:25 PM

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